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Marie Claire (South Africa) - - BEAUTY -

my thighs touch. And I wear full-piece bathing suits. I’m out of the run­ning to be fea­tured on ‘thin­spo’ (thin in­spi­ra­tion) Tum­blr sites. To make the cut, I would need to be able to post closely cropped pho­tos of a Thigh Gap (also called a Box Gap) and a Bikini Bridge. First came the Thigh Gap, which, as the name sug­gests, is the cul-de-sac be­tween your in­ner thighs, mean­ing they don’t touch, with an ac­cept­able width of around at least 10 cen­time­tres. Now, the Thigh Gap has been knocked off its fat-sham­ing pedestal by the Bikini Bridge – the lat­est trend to take a swipe at your body im­age. Much like Thigh Gaps, Bikini Bridges are easy enough to iden­tify. Lie flat on your back, watch for hip bones that jut out and then look on as your bikini waist­band lifts from your ab­domen,form­ing a val­ley-like space be­low. If, like me, your waist­band re­mains firmly against your skin as grav­ity re­fuses to make your belly dis­ap­pear, you may well be wast­ing your time even don­ning a two-piece swim­suit. The Bikini Bridge has its roots in 2009, cour­tesy of a Tum­blr site and its def­i­ni­tion’s first in­clu­sion in the Ur­ban Dic­tio­nary. As de­plorable as trends like these are, they take a real ef­fort to ig­nore. Even the most body-con­fi­dent among us know that strange ob­ses­sions like these worm their way into our sub­con­scious and have us ab­sent-mind­edly pon­der­ing over them,as we look at our naked re­flec­tions. Trends like these pro­mote an ob­ses­sion over some of the most neg­li­gi­ble parts of our bod­ies. Parts largely de­pen­dent on a ge­netic lot­tery. Are we to see new cos­metic surg­eries to change our pelvis size, shape and po­si­tion­ing? Or will we read ‘health’ books ded­i­cated to the Bikini Bridge diet? And as we try to out­Bikini Bridge each other on so­cial me­dia, it some­times feels like our in­se­cu­ri­ties are too easy to pit us against each other. Some­times I wish the bridge over them was eas­ier to build or cross.

From left A Bikini Bridge; a Thigh Gap.

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